University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries

Events & Exhibits

Wednesday Nite @ the Lab presents Fallout: The Making of a “Radioactive” Exhibit

Micaela Sullivan-Fowler assembling Fallout.

Micaela Sullivan Fowler is famous on campus for creating exhibits at Ebling Library that enhance the experience of reading UW’s Go Big Read titles each year.  The first, titled “It’s Good for You,” was created in conjunction with Michael Pollen’s In Defense of Food, and the second, “Informing Consent: Unwitting Subjects in Medicine’s Pursuit of Beneficial Knowledge” honored Rebecca Skloot’s The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. In designing these exhibits, Micaela’s primary goals were to highlight books in the Ebling collections, and to create thematic pathways between the subjects in the individual cases.

The current exhibit, titled “Fallout,” was imagined in conjunction with UW’s Go Big Read common reading program. Radioactive by Lauren Redniss was the book chosen for 2012.  “Fallout” is an examination of subjects such as the early use of x-rays in diagnosis & treatment, occupational hazards of working with radiation, the military use of x-rays, the history of tanning, a UW connection with Marie Curie, bomb shelters in the 1960’s, the bombing of Hiroshima & concerns with nuclear accidents like Three-Mile Island, UW’s Departments of Medical Physics & Radiology, shoe fitting fluoroscopes and the like.

While “Fallout” has received glowing reviews, Micaela found it the most challenging to create: “This one was perhaps the most difficult to tell in such a limited space. I discovered so many interesting stories I wanted to share,” she says.

This Wednesday, you can learn more about Micaela’s research and process as she created this year’s exhibition; she will be delivering a lecture titled “Fallout: The Making of a “Radioactive” Exhibit” for Wednesday Nite @ the Lab. Don’t miss it!

Wednesday Nite @ the Lab (WN@TL) Fallout: The Making of a “Radioactive” Exhibit.

  • When: Wednesday, February 20th from 7:00-8:15
  • Where: Room 1111 at 425 Henry Mall.

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Micaela Sullivan-Fowler has been the curator and history of health sciences librarian at Ebling Library for the past 14 years, and she acts as the liaison to the Department of Medical History & Bioethics within the School of Medicine and Public Health. Micaela’s own research has centered on the history of alternative medicine and the history of Plymouth Colony therapeutics.

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